Tuesday, September 02, 2008, 9/02/2008 06:50:00 AM

Lawyers and Competitive Intelligence

Although it doesn't address trade secrets directly, the National Law Journal has an interesting article on gathering competitive intelligence and how legal ethics might impede wide-open intelligence gathering by lawyers.

The article raises interesting questions:

"Experts agree it is unethical to misrepresent one's status or position to obtain information. But what about failing to identify yourself in a public place when others around you are talking about a competitor's proprietary information? Is an act of omission (failing to identify yourself) in the gathering of CI unethical? Is taking advantage of someone else's mistake unethical? What about misrepresenting intent versus identity in gathering CI (saying you are conducting a legal industry survey when you are really only interested in gathering CI regarding a particular subject)? These questions highlight the dichotomy between moral conduct and current ethical standards."

The answers, as one might expect, are not easy to find.

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